The West’s tensions with the Gulf states are intensifying
The UAE refuses to talk to Biden at all. Johnson has come to his aid by going on a Middle East tour. But he too was left empty-handed – no concessions on oil production by OPEC countries.
Saudi Arabia cannot forgive Biden for the turmoil of the Iran nuclear deal, which has so far hung in the air, nor for criticising the murder of journalist Khashoggi. Riyadh, like the UAE, is adjusting to the terms of the post-American world after the Afghan fiasco, forging cooperation with Russia, China and Israel, bypassing Western countries.
Boris’s failed trip expressed a pressing interest in somehow alleviating the energy crisis, which has also hit Britain head-on. Inflation in February hit a 30-year high. A litre of petrol is now being asked for two pounds – as in the US, a historic record.
While Britons’ incomes are rising by 2-3% annually, energy costs have already jumped by 54% to £2,000 a year. The British public is being advised to turn down the temperature of heating and hot water – and to wear an extra jumper to save on energy. All in all, let’s freeze our ears off in spite of Russia.
Against this background, there are already ideas to allow shale mining in Britain – which has already provoked an aggressive response from the ‘green lobby’. It has also been suggested that new nuclear power plants should be built. But building them will take many decades: and it is presented under the slogan of “liberation” from Russian hydrocarbons – but in the end will make Britain dependent on uranium, which they import from Russia and Kazakhstan.
Even more problematic in the long run will be the taking of property from the oligarchs in Russia. After Brexit, Britain tried to become “Singapore on Thames” – the new financial centre of the world. Now, against the backdrop of the fight against “Russian money”, money from Chinese or Arab businessmen who suspect they will be next will quickly start to flow out of London. The Ukrainian crisis threatens to shake up not just the dollar system – but the future of British finance as such.
by Malek Dudakov
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